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Business School student meets Sir Richard Branson

03 Jul 2013

Asking the right questions can open a lot of doors, as Business School student Chris Friend learnt recently. Chris, a Bachelor of Commerce student who is majoring in Economics, was one of five students invited to meet Sir Richard Branson at a panel discussion in Queensland.

Chris earned the chance to meet the Virgin founder through a competition on the business-oriented social networking site LinkedIn. Participants were required to submit a question for Sir Richard, and Chris' question - "What are the three key attributes of a future CEO of one of your businesses?" - was chosen in the top five.

For the record, Sir Richard's answer to Chris' question was "My ideal CEO is a good people person, and a good delegator."

Chris travelled to the University of Queensland Business School, where Sir Richard had been invited to deliver an address to the students, followed by a panel discussion.

"Attending the event provided me with an opportunity to meet a lot of exciting members of the Australian business community and really broaden my network," Chris said. "And, of course, getting to meet Sir Richard was a pretty big deal. Even from the brief chat we had, I could tell that he's a real charmer. He's a very impressive man, and lives up to his reputation as such extremely well."

Chris himself is no stranger to the spotlight. He's currently enrolled at the Business School under the University of Sydney Business School and the Sydney Uni Sports and Fitness Scholarship for Outstanding Academic and Sporting Achievement.

When he's not in the classroom, Chris competes on the Assocation of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour, where he's currently ranked 57th in the world. Having competed at a range of international locations, including South Africa, California, Europe, China and Hawaii, Chris is committed to finding the balance between his sporting endeavours and his studies.

Chris is currently overseas competing in a series of World Tour events in South Africa, El Salvador, United States and France.  "Next semester, I'll be spending some time on an exchange program at the Stockholm School of Economics," Chris says. "While I'm there, I'll have the chance to compete in the European surfing events."

"Studying at the Business School gives me a chance to make use of strategic Business School partnerships to make sure my career is on track," Chris continues. "It has provided me the ideal opportunity to pursue both my academic and sporting goals."